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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 Series Airplanes, and A340-200, -300, -500 and -600 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as: Several cases of corrosion and damage on the Down Drive Shafts (DDS), between the Down Drive Gear Box (DDGB) and the Input Gear Box (IPGB), on all 10 Flap Tracks (5 per wing), have been reported by AIRBUS Long Range Operators. Investigations have revealed that corrosion and wear due to absence of grease in the spline interfaces could cause [DDS] disconnection which could result in a free movable flap surface, potentially leading to aircraft asymmetry or even flap detachment.The proposed AD would require actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 12, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-40, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2797; fax (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2009-0003; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-251-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0026, dated February 12, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Several cases of corrosion and damage on the Down Drive Shafts (DDS), between the Down Drive Gear Box (DDGB) and the Input Gear Box (IPGB), on all 10 Flap Tracks (5 per wing), have been reported by AIRBUS Long Range Operators.

Investigations have revealed that corrosion and wear due to absence of grease in the spline interfaces could cause [DDS] disconnection which could result in a free movable flap surface, potentially leading to aircraft asymmetry or even flap detachment.

Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) 2007-0222-E mandated on all aircraft older than 6 years since AIRBUS original delivery date of the aircraft, an initial inspection of all DDS and IPGB for corrosion and wear detection in order to replace any damaged part.

Revision 1 of EAD 2007-0222-E aimed for clarifying the compliance instructions.

[EASA AD 2008-0026] supersedes the EAD 2007-0222R1-E and mandates repetitive inspections every 6 years for all the fleet.

The corrective actions include replacing damaged parts before next flight. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletins A330-27-3151, A330-27-3152, A340-27-4151, A340-27-4152, and A340-27-5040; all dated August 9, 2007. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in Start Printed Page 1650general, agree with their substance. But we might have found it necessary to use different words from those in the MCAI to ensure the AD is clear for U.S. operators and is enforceable. In making these changes, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information.

We might also have proposed different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a Note within the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 41 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 65 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $213,200, or $5,200 per product.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. “Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,” describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and

3. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2009-0003; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-251-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by February 12, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and A340-200, -300, -500 and -600 series airplanes, certificated in any category; all certified models, all manufacturer serial numbers.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27: Flight Controls.

Reason

(e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

Several cases of corrosion and damage on the Down Drive Shafts (DDS), between the Down Drive Gear Box (DDGB) and the Input Gear Box (IPGB), on all 10 Flap Tracks (5 per wing), have been reported by AIRBUS Long Range Operators.

Investigations have revealed that corrosion and wear due to absence of grease in the spline interfaces could cause [DDS] disconnection which could result in a free movable flap surface, potentially leading to aircraft asymmetry or even flap detachment.

Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) 2007-0222-E mandated on all aircraft older than 6 years since AIRBUS original delivery date of the aircraft, an initial inspection of all DDS and IPGB for corrosion and wear detection in order to replace any damaged part.

Revision 1 of EAD 2007-0222-E aimed for clarifying the compliance instructions.

[EASA AD 2008-0026] supersedes the EAD 2007-0222R1-E and mandates repetitive inspections every 6 years for all the fleet.

The corrective actions include replacing damaged parts before next flight.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Unless already done, do the applicable inspections and corrective actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD in accordance with the instructions of the applicable service information specified in Table 1 of this AD.

Table 1—Service Information

For model—Airbus Service Bulletin—For actions specified in paragraph—
A330 airplanesA330-27-3151, dated August 9, 2007(f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD.
A330 airplanesA330-27-3152, dated August 9, 2007(f)(1)(iv) and (f)(2) of this AD.
A340-200 and -300 airplanesA340-27-4151, dated August 9, 2007(f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD.
A340-200 and -300 airplanesA340-27-4152, dated August 9, 2007(f)(1)(iv) and (f)(2) of this AD.
A340-500 and -600 airplanesA340-27-5040, dated August 9, 2007(f)(2) of this AD.

(1) For Model A330 airplanes, up to and including manufacturer serial number (MSN) 0420, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes, up to and including MSN 0415, except MSNs 0385 and 0395: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i), (f)(1)(ii), and (f)(1)(iii) of this AD at the applicable time specified.

(i) For airplanes on which less than 10 years have accumulated since the date of issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness as of the effective date of this AD: Within 24 months after the Start Printed Page 1651effective date of this AD, perform simultaneous detailed visual inspections of the IPGB and of the DDS on all flap tracks on both wings for corrosion and wear detection and do all applicable corrective actions. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

(ii) For airplanes on which 10 or more years have accumulated since the date of issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness as of the effective date of this AD: Within 4 months after the effective date of this AD, perform simultaneous detailed visual inspections of the IPGB and of the DDS on flap tracks 2 and 4 on both wings for corrosion and wear detection and do all applicable corrective actions. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

(iii) Within 30 days after performing an initial inspection required by paragraph (f)(1)(i) or (f)(1)(ii) of this AD, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, report the initial inspection results only, whatever they are, to Airbus as specified in the reporting sheet of the applicable service information listed in Table 1 of this AD.

(iv) Within 6 years after performing the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1)(i) or (f)(1)(ii) of this AD; and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 6 years: Perform simultaneous detailed visual inspections of the IPGB and of the DDS on all flap tracks on both wings for corrosion and wear detection and do all applicable corrective actions. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

(2) For airplanes other than those identified in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD: Within 6 years after issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness, or within 20 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later; and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 6 years: Perform simultaneous detailed visual inspections of the IPGB and of the DDS on all flap tracks on both wings for corrosion and wear detection and do all applicable corrective actions. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

Note 1:

Airbus should be contacted in order to get appropriate information for airplanes on which the original delivery date of the airplane is unknown to the operator.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: No differences.

Other FAA AD Provisions

(g) The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2797; fax (425) 227-1149. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

Related Information

(h) Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0026, dated February 12, 2008, and the service information specified in Table 1 of this AD, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 29, 2008.

Linda Navarro,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E9-458 Filed 1-12-09; 8:45 am]

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